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Feminist concepts of bodily citizenship: a historical and comparative perspective: (PANEL) The body owner, the labourer and the victim citizen: citizenship and the female body in the age of biosciences
Södertörn University, School of Gender, Culture and History, Gender studies.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-8084-2045
2010 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation only (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

In contrast to issues concerning bodily integrity (abortion, violence) reproductive technologies represent a topic,which has been highly controversial among feminist activists and scholars. Some regard it as an expansion of power over women´s bodies through medical expertise. Especially reprogenetics - the fusion of assisted reproductive technics and genetical knowlege - is percieved as a new form of biopower, where life itself is becoming objectified through instrumental sociotechnologies. Others welcome reproductive technologies as an extension of women´s  autonomy and right to choose, with regard to their bodies. As such reproductive technologies challenge the liberal notion of selfdetermination. Related to the classical integrity issues selfdetermination meant a "negativ" liberty right as freedom from various forms of coersion or force, when it comes to reproductive technologies, selfdetermination is linkd to a "claim right, namely to have a healthy baby. But can there be a right to have a healthy baby? Should it be an issue of state concern to satisfy the poeples yearning for children? In addition to such challenging question, reproductive technolgies profoundly destabilize central categories of the political and cultural order, on which feminist demands for bodily citizenship have rested. Drawing on sholarship from governmentality studies this paper aims to rethink the concept of  bodily citizenship.  I will discuss the fruitfullness of such an approach drawing on empirical research covering Sweden, Germany and Poland

Abstract [en]

The body owner, the labourer and the victim citizen: citizenship and the female body in the age of biosciences.

Conveners:

Kathrin Braun, Unversity of Hannover, Germany, k.braun@ipw.uni-hannover.de

Teresa Kulawik, Södertörn University, Stockholm, Sweden, teresa.kulawik@sh.se

Cultural constructions of the body and the relation between person and body have figured prominently within conceptions of citizenship from its inception to contemporary feminism. Civic, social, political, or sexual rights and duties have been linked to figures such as the citizen as owner of her body, the embodied source of economic productivity, member of an imagined community in need of e.g. blood, contractor of reproductive or sexual services, or subject of sexual and reproductive exploitation. Although bodily issues occupy a key place in the politics and theory of feminism, the concept of bodily citizenship has remained strangely pale and underdeveloped. The dominating focus on the “control over body” perspective has rendered the concept of bodily citizenship static and somewhat outdated. The  concept of self-determination was based on an anatomical notion of a stable, self-complete body. With the epostemological shift towards a molecular conception, bodies are conceived as transformable and inherently uncontained. The panel will explore how various models of bodily citizenship play out in current feminist debates and political strategies towards the bioeconomy of assisted reproduction and regenerative medicine. Both sectors have grown into vast industries in recent decades. Whether as surrogate mothers or as "donors" of eggs, embryos, or other reproductive tissue, women constitute the primary providers of services and materials on which these sectors depend. The practices through which those services and materials are generated and provided, however, are rather onerous, risky, toilsome, painful, emotionally stressful, partly stigmatized and heavily contested among feminists.

The panel will explore the different concepts of citizenship manifest in feminist responses towards the growth of the reproductive and regenerative industry and discuss questions such as: (How) Are certain argumentative and political strategies within feminism rooted in certain national conceptions and histories of citizenship? And if so, (how) can they be applied to an increasingly cross-national set of practices? How are relations of class, race, disability, age or sexual orientation among women reflected upon?

Contributions:

Kathrin Braun/Susanne Schultz:  Vendors or victims? Models of citizenship in current debates on egg procurement for research in Europe and the US. University of Hannover, Germany.

Ute Kalender, Non/Desired reproductive citizens. A queer-crip perspective on concepts of reproductive citizenship, Humboldt University of Berlin, Germany.

Karin Lindelöf: Shifting subjects: bodily citizenship in abortion debate in Sweden 1964-2009, Södertörn University, Stockholm, Sweden.

Teresa Kulawik: Feminist concepts of bodily citizenship: a historical and comparative perspective. Södertörn University, Stockholm, Sweden

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2010.
National Category
Gender Studies Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-39142OAI: oai:DiVA.org:sh-39142DiVA, id: diva2:1359323
Conference
Beyond Citizenship, Feminism and the transformation of Belonging (FEMCIT open conference), Birkbeck, University of London, June 30 - July 2, 2010.
Note

http://www.bbk.ac.uk/bisr/activities/pastactivities/beyondcitizenship/programme

Available from: 2019-10-09 Created: 2019-10-09 Last updated: 2019-10-10Bibliographically approved

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